By Jordon Eshelman
(Guest Writer & Contributor)
(Photos & Editing by Geek Outlaw)
UPDATE: For those interested in watching the first movie review on YouTube for this film, Matt Zions of WE @ The Movies delivers an entertaining breakdown of just how bad the reboot really is. Seriously, this video review is hilarious and far funnier than any of the footage released by Sony thus far. Warning, spoiler within!
I’m sure you know the feeling. After sharing your thoughts with someone about how unhappy you are with the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot on the internet or in person, you find one of the ten people on the planet who proceed to staple a “Hi, I’m a misogynist” label to your groin. This happens even despite the fact you’ve calmly outlined the reason for your disdain being your opinion Ghostbusters never should have been remade in the first place, or you simply think the film looks like a steaming pile of hippopotamus excrement. Nevertheless, open-mindedness is futile, as those unapproving of your view obviously know better how you feel than you do. They have concluded your opinion has no weight because it doesn’t align with their own viewpoint, which in turn magically transforms their judgement to fact.
Rather than attempt to enter a fruitless debate with others actually happy about this remake of a classic film, I will peacefully list the reasons why a majority of fans are opposed with almost all things relating to the Ghostbusters reboot. (And no, I’m not writing this to stop the above mentioned ten individuals who genuinely think this remake is a good idea from seeing the film in question.) To the dismay of feminists everywhere, none of the reasons listed below are due to the new all-female paranormal team. If anyone has other reasons, please don’t hesitate to contribute in the comment section below or on the Facebook page, but please keep it PG-13 for more discerning eyes.
(For a quick recap on how we even got to a Ghostbusters remake from a potential Ghostbusters 3, watch the informative and factual Midnight’s Edge video directly below.)
(WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW!)
In Your Face Gender Politics:
The main strategy Sony has been selling us since Paul Feig’s announcement back in October 2014 is that the new team of Ghostbusters are all women and they want you to know it (heart in a nuclear sticker, trailer quotes about being a “woman thing”, etc) and according to the movie novelization there’s a lot more where that came from.
As an example, in the novelization, the venue manager of the rock concert pisses them off when he doesn’t take them seriously as scientists which when he states they “dress like garbage men”. The novel infers they are insulted merely because they are women. And let us now forget the aforementioned quote from the African-American woman named Patty when she says, “I don’t know if was a race thing or a lady thing but I’m mad as hell!” Adding race and gender related jokes to the mix eh? In the original Ghostbusters, when it came to the African American character of Winston (played Ernie Hudson), outside of a funny quote about seeing “$h!t that would turn you white”, the character was not bitter about any supposed racism (and this 30 years ago during a time when it could be argued a larger amount of racism existed.)
Also within some of the trailers, the male secretary (played by Chris Hemsworth) creates a Ghostbusters logo with over exaggerated female breasts, almost inferring the first thing men think of when it comes to women is their mammaries. While I nor Geek Outlaw deny being fans of the globular glands, the entire reference is the type of in your face “men are sexist” jokes you would never associate to the Ghostbusters property. Yeah, Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman character was a cheesy (arguably horny) ladies man, but over the course of two movies did he ever make jokes about boobs on women? It was the subtly of the humor (see below) that made Ghostbusters work on so many levels. The remake is thus far showcasing the kind of low-brow 5-year old humor one might find in a Paul Feig movie. Oh wait…
Speaking of moronic men, per the novelization of the remake, Feig continues to represent most of the men in the film as stupid, chauvinist or just outright assholes. So at least he’s keeping consistent with his work on that front too.
Ghostbusters was about four friends saving New York from ghosts, not making it painstakingly obvious they were men! Also, for those yet to see the official soundtrack for the movie, it has three – count’em three – songs specifically about the female gender (most notably Elle King’s “Good Girls”). Admittedly the song is a bit catchy, but it’s just another example of the all-female concept being shoved in front of the audiences’ faces and ears. Ghostbusters fans aren’t making this about gender, Paul Feig and Sony Pictures are making it about gender.
Thankfully, somewhat saner minds have started to let their voices be heard on the “supposed” sexist controversy. Producer – in title only – of the new reboot and director of the original films, Ivan Retiman, recently spoke to Mashable.com about the vocal negativity towards the remake. He said, and I quote, “I think there’s way too much talk about gender [when it comes to this film]. I think that many of the people who were complaining were actually lovers of the [original] movie, not haters of women.”
In an interview with Inverse.com he explains in further detail; “I don’t think it’s sexism that’s been the major problem. I think it’s more people of your age [30-somethings] who watched the movie when they were 8 or 9 and it became this formative cinematic experience for kids. And fortunately and as a tribute, I take it as a compliment, the film has held on for these 30-odd years since [old fans] have seen it. So, there’s some trepidation in remaking a film like this. You don’t want to remake The Wizard of Oz. And there’s something about Ghostbusters that felt that way.” Hallelujah! The truth, shall set you free! See, now wasn’t that easy?
Granted, Reitman is probably understating the trepidation being only mild and he still wants people to see the new flick since it’s success may tie into his connections to other Ghostbusters projects, however at least he hit the nail on the head in stating the backlash of this Ghostbusters remake is as much about sexism as baking a cake is about knowing how to drive a motorcycle.
Weak Dialogue topped off with Cringe and Groan-Worthy Slapstick
Of all the flaws with the content released thus far, the most talked about include the lame jokes, drivel passing as dialogue and groan worthy slapstick. Based on the trailers and vignettes and TV spots Sony has released, not one damn thing in this movie looks even remotely funny aside from maybe Hemsworth playing a Rick Moranis inspired moron, and I’m not in the minority with my assessment.
I feel so funky.
The original had its own unique brand of comedy focusing on character interaction and hilarious and memorable quotes that will forever stick in our heads and the lexicon of pop culture. If quotes like “that stuff went everywhere in every crack”, “the power of Patty compels you” and the cliché, “booya emphasis on the boo” are any indication of what we are getting, then it is indeed a sad summer for Ghostbusters fans. Seriously, who writes this stuff? Nevermind, Paul Feig does, and the quote ”I’m going to kick the unliving crap out of you” makes me want to drill out my ear drums with a dremel. Alas based on Feig’s Twitter-tantrums, I shouldn’t be surprised (See Geek Outlaw’s original write-up here).
Let’s not forget about the slapstick. While the original did have its share of physical humor (ala Rick Moranis), it never lowered itself to ghost puking, full on face slapping, and face smooshing ala the Stay Puft balloon in the trailers. As Stantz1984 (anonymous ediot of the remake and leaker of the plot online) stated on Reddit, the overly-goofy slapstick (aka taking selfies with ghosts) ruins any tension or horror aspects of the film. And don’t get me started on the Ghost and Young Frankenstein movie references which fall flat even in the previews. If there is anything original in the humor department about this film, it has yet to be displayed.
Another issue we fans have with this movie is its over abundance of CGI. The original relied on practical effects (granted they had to), but it didn’t use it as a crutch. Again, based on the trailer, it looks like CGI is not only overused, but poorly executed. The ghosts look like they were pulled straight from the live-action Scooby Doo flicks and certain scenes look so obviously fake, they make video games like Super Mario Brothers look like cinematic masterpieces. (See Geek Outlaw’s rant below for further detail.)
Copy and paste.
For a film that Paul Feig claims is supposed to stand on its own two feet and be a completely original story, there seems to be a lot of elements carbon copied from the original two films. Similarities include, the location being New York City, a nearly identical Ecto-1 using the exact same car model only 30 years newer, an almost indistinguishable library ghost encounter scene, an underground subway scene (ala GB2) and an electric chair ghost (Scolari Bros also from GB2).
Going back to the novel and the Stantz1984 leak, they see the mayor after an incident at their headquarters, they cross the streams, and the villain asks them to choose the form of their destruction, whom in turn becomes a giant white threat to the city. Bring in the possession and a ghost portal components and you’ll wonder where exactly the originality is located. So much for the movie being a “clean reboot” as per Feig’s own words. The Bridesmaids director claimed he didn’t know how to make a sequel to the first two films, and from all that has been revealed so far, he should have just stayed away from the franchise in general.
A confusing title.
As YouTube personality and movie reviewer James Rolfe (aka The Angry Video Game Nerd) stated in his calm and very rational non-sexist video, the title of the reboot is also that’s also infuriating. Rather than come up with a new name like Ghostbusters: Recharged or Ghostbusters: The Next Generation, Sony stuck with Ghostbusters. Using this title oddly supplants the original in namesake and conversation. Sharing the title with the original makes the reboot feel more like a replacement, and with the original being such a beloved film, it only furthers to anger those whom argues a full on remake potentially tarnishes the name of the property in general.
When All Else Fails, Blame Fans of the Original
Up to this point, all Paul Feig, the cast, and Sony Executives have done in response to upset fans is to call every single detractor – including women – a female-hating sexist stuck in their parents basement with too much free time on their hands. A quick search on Google with the search term ‘Ghostbusters’ will bring of an ungodly amount of “supposed” articles of uber-socialist media zealots proclaiming if you are unhappy with the new Ghostbusters film, you are the second coming of Hitler. Sadly, the response of the media and all involved with the film has only further insult fans who were opposed to the film getting rebooted at all, be with men or women.
Many a fan (myself and Geek Outlaw included) have said time and again the all female cast is not the issue here, it’s the fact that it’s a reboot. Even the reboot’s producer and former director of the originals, Ivan Reitman, recently came out to defend the fanbase saying the opposition isn’t about sexism, it’s mainly about nostalgia. Nevertheless, director Paul Feig pretty much refuses to acknowledge this and took to Twitter to accuse naysayers of sexism with perfectly spelled out f-bombs.
(For an excellent breakdown of Sony’s backlash to the backlash, check out the following Midnight’s Edge video analysis.)
The cast fairs no different either with Melissa McCarthy and Leslie Jones recently coming out and blanketing all of the negativity as misogyny only. Add to that Sony censoring negative and rational opinions of the movie and then leaving only the most sexist comments (and yes, there are some attention deprived idiots out there) of online trolls to linger in order to construct their own false narrative.
Some of my recent favorite (yet to be removed) YouTube comments include:
Regrettably, Sony either fails to see, or doesn’t care about the U.S. audience whom are potential customers. While many have recently reasoned these big blockbuster films are made for unsuspecting crowds overseas, we here in America can still decide a movie’s and or franchise’s fate domestically (See recent Fantastic Four and it’s cancelled sequels / crossovers.) Being halfway through 2016, Hollywood is already suffering through one of its worst years financially, so insulting any potential customers in any way shape or form seems like bad business. I mean this is still a business after all, no? Sony Pictures should really take a look in the mirror and ask themselves, why is the film’s first trailer the most disliked in YouTube history?
If you really believe it’s because almost every male with an internet connection decided to log join YouTube for the first time to show how sexist they were with a thumbs down, then your Studio is in far worse trouble than anyone could have ever imagined. Maybe they should actually look through the video reviews online and watch the feedback from females on YouTube (such as Comic Book Girl 19 and Ellie Jayden) voicing their displeasure not only about the film getting remade in the first place, but doing it in a condescending way.
Last she checked, Comic Nerd Girl 19 was a female and one that’s none too happy about the reboot also.
If there are unhappy fans in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call to label them sexist? (I actually don’t have their numbers, but you can always tweet them @PaulFeig & @SonyPictures.)
(For a visual and audio overview of the above points (and more) check out the following Midnight’s Edge video analysis.)
(Jordon Eshelman is the writer and guest contributor of the above post. A huge thank you to Jordon for his hard work and being a true glutton for punishment in devoting more than 5 minutes of his time to research the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot train wreck.)